A traumatic brain injury is a serious consequence of head trauma, usually caused from an accident or fall. Preventing these injuries takes a great deal of awareness. Vehicle collisions are one of the primary causes of traumatic brain injury, along with pedestrian accidents, boating accidents, construction site accidents, and many other types of accidents. The results can be slight or devastating, ranging from a loss of speech, memory problems, inability to concentrate for long periods of time, or mood swings.
Some facts about TBI from the CDC:
- In 2013,1 about 2.8 million TBI-related emergency department (ED) visits, hospitalizations, and deaths occurred in the United States.
- TBI contributed to the deaths of nearly 50,000 people.
- TBI was a diagnosis in more than 282,000 hospitalizations and 2.5 million ED visits. These consisted of TBI alone or TBI in combination with other injuries.
- Over the span of six years (2007–2013), while rates of TBI-related ED visits increased by 47%, hospitalization rates decreased by 2.5% and death rates decreased by 5%.
- Among all age groups, motor vehicle crashes were the third overall leading cause of TBI-related ED visits, hospitalizations, and deaths (14%). When looking at just TBI-related deaths, motor vehicle crashes were the third leading cause (19%) in 2013.
Symptoms of a brain injury include:
- Inability to remember the cause of the injury or events that occurred Immediately before or up to 24 hours after
- Confusion and disorientation
- Difficulty remembering new information
- Blurry vision
- Nausea and vomiting
This month is Brain Injury Awareness Month. As a personal injury lawyer helping victims of car accidents, I think it’s important to take a car accident seriously, even if it was minor. My advice to all car accident victims is to go see their primary care physician, even if they feel ok after an accident. Brain injury doesn’t always seem obvious, but catching it early is the key to effective treatment.